Spot Shrimp Newbie

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Spot Shrimp Newbie

Post by kodacachers » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:07 am

Hi All
I finally got a pot puller and am going to partake in the short shrimp season this year. I've been scouring the interweb posts and videos on pot set up and I'd appreciate any additions or corrections to my plan:
Pots: One nice ladner-style, two of those plasticy tunnel traps (didn't want to spring for nicer ones until i tried it out)
Weight: Is 20 lbs enough? Some say 30. I'll be in Puget Sound.
Line: 400 feet leaded
Buoys: two magnum yellow. Does everyone use two?
Bait: Slush of cat food, mackerel, and those pellets.
To find shrimp do you all find them on the fishfinder or is it just finding a good looking spot and dumping them over?
Thanks for your thoughts.

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Re: Spot Shrimp Newbie

Post by beeman » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:02 pm

Its been years since I went after spot shrimp, you wont find them with a fish finder, its the depth you are looking for, 250-275 in most areas. Also we used to use one yellow float and one large inflatable float, about 15" diameter orange/blue color. I would add a couple of house bricks to my traps, they need to be heavy to stay put, before we added the big floats we would see the current dragging the yellow ones under all the time.

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Re: Spot Shrimp Newbie

Post by 4n6fisher » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:16 pm

While also a newbie, I got my puller and am looking at pots still. I have gone out with friends a few times in the San Juan's (longer season there), we used cat food and pellets. The other thing we found is the bigger pot is better as there is a relatively short window of slack tide where you can really load up. The big octagon one was better than the smaller square ones since it hold so many more.
Once the tide starts moving the pots will move around (even anchored good, but stronger currents in the islands) and you do not get as many shrimp. We let them soak 30-60 minutes and always get excited when the first ones come up full, but then tide starts and there are less shrimp each time.
Let us know which pot you decide on. Most people seem to have two floats of varying sizes, a bigger one like Beeman mentioned not a bad idea.
More experienced people might chime in with further details.

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Re: Spot Shrimp Newbie

Post by BentRod » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:39 pm

I shrimp with my friend up off Whidby and Camano. We use 400' of line (leaded preferred), the square traps (SMI makes a nice one), between 20#-30# of lead pot weights, and multiple floats per pot. We learned long ago that you need to add weight to the pot and have a trailer float(s) off the main float. Our preferred setup is a large ball float off the main and a trailer of 2-3 stock yellow floats about 8' behind that.
Current plays a major roll when/where you drop. We watch the tides and current charts when we go and will drop/retrieve accordingly. We've had pot floats disappear during strong current only to reappear when the current slacked. We've lost our share of pots/floats over the years and have learned that the combination of a proper pot setup combined with the times and conditions of the set/retrieve a vital to a successful trip.
We usually drop in between 250'-300' of water. We've found with the new sonar we can often see the large schools (are they called schools?) of shrimp in the holes we look for. Location and scent are highly important. We shrimped the Camino slot last year and did not do nearly as well as some of the boats who were less than 50 yards than us. That is a cluster of a fishery, but can be good and is protected from the weather/waves, which can make it worthwhile, but what a crowd!
There are a ton of tips and they probably vary by person, but a little experience goes a long way. Good luck and hope you find a good haul. It sure is fun when you do!
PS...line management is an art as well. 300'-400' is a lot of line to contend with. If you can coil it into a bucket or large open mouth container as it comes in, it will make it easier to manage.

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